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Abstraction of Detail Smaller than Brush

Hello:


I am leaning Mark Carder's method and enjoying it.  I love how precise and faithful the technique is to shape and color.... and the results are indeed deserving of the label "realism".   But I am having a bit of a conundrum surrounding how to treat patterns if they are (or as they become) smaller than the brush I am willing to use,


How best to capture realism where the subject has very clear detail, be it texture, or patterns, etc, which are smaller than the brush I am willing to use.  For example a pattern which recedes into the distance, or newsprint on a nearby newspaper, or bare branches (actually the finer and finer twigs as one get farther down the branch) on trees in winter... There comes a point at which the size of the detail is such that it may no longer be possible to directly present it faithfully... in shape and color... nor would I want to do so (too many tedious strokes with a small brush). 

What are some of your common approaches to this problem (other than giving up on the subject)?  When or how do you decide to paint with randomish part strokes implying pattern and using the original colors of the pattern (say black and white) versus transitioning to painting with at in between and eventually the average color (eg say grey) where things are still discernible to the eye but really look like the average color on the scale of the brush head?


Any techniques, ideas, thoughts, or advice would be appreciated.

Comments

  • CJDCJD -
    edited November 29
    My advice is to study how master painters deal with this.

    Here's one example (Gelena Pavlenko). Richard Schmid is probably a good one to study, or Sargent.. someone who paints in that kind of style.


    tassieguyForgiveness
  • CJD said:
    My advice is to study how master painters deal with this.


    That's very good advice!
  • dencaldencal -
    edited November 29
    CBG
    Welcome me to the Forum.
    There are no rules or useful guidelines that I know of regarding the rendering of fine detail.
    In the most difficult cases, such as a diminishing brick wall or newspaper the technique usually employed is to transition to a colour and texture that is an abstraction of the detail.

    Denis

    ForgivenessCBG
  • I squint at the source. If I can still see detail  through the squint then I paint the detail. If not, then the abstraction starts and gradually merges into flat colour. For example, receding forested hillsides will gradually show less and less detail, then less and less abstraction until they become a flat blue grey to denote atmospheric perspective. 
    CJDGTOForgiveness
  • tassieguy said:
    I squint at the source. If I can still see detail  through the squint then I paint the detail. If not, then the abstraction starts and gradually merges into flat colour. For example, receding forested hillsides will gradually show less and less detail, then less and less abstraction until they become a flat blue grey to denote atmospheric perspective. 

    Thank you!  Being more deliberate about squinting for this particular challenge will be useful.
  • dencal said:
    CBG
    Welcome me to the Forum.
    There are no rules or useful guidelines that I know of regarding the rendering of fine detail.
    In the most difficult cases, such as a diminishing brick wall or newspaper the technique usually employed is to transition to a colour and texture that is an abstraction of the detail.

    Denis


    Thank you Denis!
    dencal
  • BOB73BOB73 -
    edited December 2
    if you want higher/more detail than what you are rendering, you have to be willing to use smaller brushes or learn how to make smaller strokes with your usual brushes for example: by using just the corner of a flat. You have to experiment.
    Another technique employed by many is to be highly detailed in the focus area of your painting and get more abstract as you get further away from your focus area. for example this portrait by @PhilCouture first posted here in March 2013.

  • you can click on any painting in the header of the forum home page Home  and view a larger version of the painting above.
    tassieguy
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